Preparing for College, Round Four (a.k.a. Senior Year)

Today marks the last day of summer before my senior year of college.

Tomorrow I begin the end of my journey as a student at the University of Minnesota-Morris. It doesn’t seem real. I know I have a whole year ahead of me and I shouldn’t be feeling sad yet, but I also know this year is going to go by incredibly fast.

I really cannot believe that I’m already a senior. Where did the time go? I feel like I just got here as the over excited and anxious freshman that I was. I was so excited for college; I spent my last quarter of high school complaining about how I just did not want to be there anymore and how I just could not wait to be at Morris and now my time here is almost over. I am most definitely not the same person I was when I arrived here freshman year. I have grown and learned so much about myself since arriving here in the fall of 2011. I have met amazing people and I have made lasting friendships. It hasn’t always been easy–I went through some of my darkest days while here at Morris–but I wouldn’t change it for the world. The dark times have shaped me into the person I am today, a much stronger and confidant individual than I was when I started here. Furthermore, all the laughs and crazy moments, as well as the support I’ve received from my friends here shine so bright and make up for all of my rough moments. College is most certainly not a joy ride of any sorts; however, I’ve learned throughout my three years here that you are, for the most part, in complete control of your own college experience: you can take your bad days, do nothing with them, and just feel sorry for yourself or you can accept them for what they are, learn from them, and move on. It took a little longer for me to find a friend group that I feel truly accepted and a part of here at Morris, but now that I have those people in my life, I know I can get through even the toughest days with their support and encouragement. They have helped me to find the confidence that I have within me, which I am most grateful for, and they just make my life so much more fun.

I know this year will be a year of even more growth. I know it will be amazing and I’m so excited for it. However, it will also be incredibly bittersweet. When graduation day comes around in May, I know it will be time to move on as hard as that may be. For now, I’m going to try to focus on living my life to the fullest this year and enjoying the moments as they come.

This year has already been off to a great start. I’m a Hall Director on campus (a very unique experience to have as an undergraduate–Morris may be the only school in the country that hires undergraduate Hall Directors–so of course, I’m very appreciative of this position) and I’ve been in training the last few weeks. Training, despite how tiring it’s been, has also been a fantastic experience. My hall staff and the greater, campus-wide res life staff is a really fantastic and strong group this year. I’ve enjoyed watching the Community Advisors that I hired last spring discover their own unique ways of approaching the job and, over all, I have a really good feeling about my staff in particular.

I also just got a job working in the campus archives for a few hours each week. I’m excited for this opportunity, as I would like to go into museums/public history as a career. The other day, I got an e-mail from the professor who runs the archives, asking if I’d be interested…another professor had recommended me for the position. It will be a fantastic experience for me, considering my career aspirations. Furthermore, I had already been considering applying for another job because I’m kind of poor after living as an unpaid intern in Washington D.C., an extremely expensive city, for eight weeks this summer; this position pays, so it’s perfect. This is what I love about Morris…this is a super small campus and everyone has connections. Opportunities like this just come up; although I would have been more than happy to look for a job on my own for a little extra money, I’m incredibly thankful that I don’t have to worry about that now. I’m going to be incredibly busy this semester, but I’m ready for it! This is my last year of college, so I might as well live it up!

Senior year is just getting started. This is not the time to mope about how college is almost over. As I’m the type of person who generally freaks out about the future, I know I’m going to have to keep reminding myself of this. I’m in a good place right now, and for that I am thankful.

To all you college students out there, cheers to a great year, regardless of your year in school.

Below, I’ve posted some photos from training…this is what I’ve been up to the last few weeks!

**Disclaimer** None of the below pictures are mine. I took them all from facebook. 

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My hall staff is into extreme bonding experiences. Here’s just one example of us in our element…
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Gay Hall Staff, 2014-2015. We’re clearly already winning with this too cute picture.
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Campus-wide res life staff picture in our fancy clothes.
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Candid with the one and only KJopp
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The 2014-2015 UMM Hall Directors, everyone. I promise we know what we’re doing, even if it doesn’t look like it right here.

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